22 Australian Delegation, United Nations, to Department of External Affairs

Cablegram United Nations 272 NEW YORK, 12 July 1946, 9.23 p.m.


Atomic 21.

1. At the meeting of the Working Committee today Dr. Evatt presented general report on Sub-Committee No 1. Substance is given in our immediately succeeding telegram. [1] As no endorsement of report was required he immediately called on the Committee to consider the establishment of technical committees.

2. Examination of functions, titles and composition of these proposed committees led to a protracted tussle with Gromyko who perpetually returned to his own original proposals and tried to insist on adoption of his views against clear majority. Only forceful and determined direction by the Chairman saved the meeting from repetition of delays and inconclusiveness which have resulted from such tactics in other bodies in the past, but after three hours debate during which the Soviet was voted down by 10 to 2 and 10 to 1 Dr. Evatt had the satisfaction of seeing his month as Chairman conclude with completion of another stage of the Commission's work by establishment of full Organisation as follows:

(1) The Working Committee to consider broad questions of principle and co-ordinate work of other committees.

(2) Committee No 2 to examine questions associated with the control of atomic energy activities.

(3) Legal Committee to advise on all legal and drafting matters, examine legal aspects of relationships with the United Nations and ultimately submit draft treaty or treaties to Working Committee.

(4) Scientific and Technical Committee to advise on scientific and technical questions, and to consider and recommend proposals for exchange of information for peaceful uses of atomic energy and for all scientific and technical matters.

3. Each committee will have 12 members. Committee No 1 remains in abeyance. Title of Committee No 2 was adopted as compromise after Soviet had made unacceptable demands. Full terms of reference of committees follow by air.

4. Today's exceptionally strenuous but successful meeting was climax to a month's hard work during which the Australian Chairmanship has been strongest single force in carrying out Assembly's direction to use utmost despatch. Public statement issued by Baruch's office today referred to Dr. Evatt's outstanding work and expressed admiration for the effective manner in which he conducted difficult sessions. At Washington President Truman gave the message to Evatt through Acheson expressing sincere thanks for the work performed by Australia in the recent sittings of the Security Council and Atomic Commission.

5. Dr. Evatt suggests that it might be appropriate for the Prime Minister or Acting Minister to make parliamentary statement on Australian participation in Atomic Commission's work and policy advanced by our representatives. Statements presented by him have been given in earlier telegrams and copies forwarded by air. These might be annexed to statement.

1 Document 23.

[AA:A1838 T184, 720/1, i]